Ford nucleon car. A car that could do 5000 miles before refuelling. Scientists had harnessed the limitless and presumed safe power of the atom and in 1954 the united states navy launched the worlds first nuclear powered submarine the uss nautilusunder president eisenhowers atoms for peace. In spite of the nucleons flaws its designers deserve a nod for their slapdash ingenuity.
The ford nucleon is a concept car developed by ford in 1957 designed as a future nuclear powered car one of a handful of such designs during the 1950s and 60s. It might sound like a dream but it could have become a reality with the ford nucleon. Although it was just a scale model ford wanted to show that you could in theory based on scientific knowledge at the time power a car with steam and uranium fission.
The mid 1950s were a time of boundless optimism in the united states. The unusual form of this concept was dictated by its reactor the same type found on nuclear submarines at the time which dictated the long flat shape of its rear end. The design did not include an internal combustion engine rather the vehicle was to be powered by a small nuclear reactor in the rear of the vehicle based.
Except that it was nuclear powered. The ford nucleon was a scale model concept car developed by ford motor company in 1958 as a design on how a nuclear powered car might look. Images courtesy ford motor company.
The ford nucleon was a concept designed to explore the viability of a nuclear powered car in 1957. Such hot swaps no pun intended would be performed by the modern equivalent of a. The nucleons reactor core called a power capsule in nucleon speak was designed to last 5000 miles between exchanges.
The nucleons central design concept was a removable power module power cell in ford lingo between the rear wheels which would presumably house the nuclear reactor steam turbine transmission and final drive unit. Rear view of the ford nucleon showing the modular atomic power cell. The concept was only demonstrated as a scale model.
Images courtesy ford motor company. It sounds like a nuclear experiment and funnily enough thats exactly what the ford nucleon was.